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NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Ravann Michelle 252-305-0859. Email:ravannrachelle [at] gmail.com

Afrofunk Festival returns for a third year with extra funk to benefit Kids in Darfur.

 Bay Area musicians come together to raise awareness and Funds for Kids in Darfur.

[SAN FRANCISCO, CA, JUNE 1, 2007] - Returning for a third year after two consecutive sold-out concerts, The Afrofunk Music Festival--San Francisco's Afrobeat music extravaganza--announces ths year's line-up. This year the festival will be a month long event across four cites: San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica and Santa Barbara. Proceeds will benefit Save the Children Fund's Sudan Crisis Relief Fund.

"The crisis in Darfur is heartbreaking to watch and I feel it's our responsibility as a global community to take action and not stand by and watch it at a distance via TV," said Sila Mutungi, the festival organizer and producer. "The Afrofunk Festival gives us an extraordinary opportunity to raise awareness and save lives. Expanding the festival to other cities via touring was a natural choice.
Our mission: to raise awareness and fund for kids in Darfur, Sudan through music."

This year's Afrofunk Festival features artists representing a wide diversity of cultures, and traditions: Anyone drawn to gritty, hard-hitting, James Brown funk will want to hear Sila and the Afrofunk Experience. Other party-goers will find themselves dancing to the Juju music, voodoo ritual chants and rhythms of Baba Ken and Afro-groove Connexion . Fela Kuti fanatics should not miss the dance infused jams of Afrobeat Down, Dj Jeremiah and the Afrobeat Nation and Dj Emmanuel  Nado. (Artist descriptions attached.)

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BACKGROUND
The genocide in Darfur, Sudan began in early 2003 when Sudanese rebel groups attacked government military installations. In response, the Sudanese government sponsored Arab "Janjaweed" militias to fight back. The Janjaweed began attacking civilians living in areas considered disloyal to the government. With villages leveled to ashes and Darfuris on the run for their lives, the Janjaweed continued their campaign of terror even at the displaced civilians' camps. In 2004, United Nations aid officials called the situation "the world's greatest humanitarian crisis." In June 2005, President Bush declared genocide, and his administration supports international intervention. In May 2006, the Sudanese government and the largest faction of the Sudan Liberation Army rebels signed the Darfur Peace Agreement, offering hope of eventual peace. Yet violence and suffering continue for Darfuris due to insufficient peacekeeping. To date, at least 400,000 people have died, 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes, and 3.5 million are hungry.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

SILA AND THE AFROFUNK EXPERIENCE

Sila epitomizes what people love about this century's music: Energy, honesty, generosity, ecstasy, and a full-tilt dedication to digging the groove until the last call. Sila's music titillates the senses and people everywhere have developed a healthy appetite for his funky fusion of African rhythm, American funk, Soukous, Afrobeat, and Reggae. Inspired by his Kenyan roots and his love for all genres of music, his sound is unique, yet instantly recognizable. His lyrics and beats reflect the music, the language, the energy, and the spirit of growing up in Africa. 

Sila is accompanied by a renowned cast of band mates who include Wendell Rand (bass), Ken House (Guitar), Bennie Murray (Drums), David  James (Guitar), Mike Pitre (Trumpet), Andre Webb (Trombone), David Boyce (Saxophone), Ricky Carter (percussion) and Karamba (Djembe).

BABA KEN AND AFRO-GROOVE CONNEXION
Nigerian vocalist/bassist/producer Ken Okulolo of Baba Ken & Afro-Groove ConneXion is one of the few popular African musicians of today whose roots extend deep into Nigerian musical history. Babá Ken was born into the Urhobo ethnic group in the village of Aladja , Delta State , Nigeria , where he was exposed to the stories, rhythms, and songs of his people, and learned the traditional arts of drumming, singing, and dance. As a youth, he began playing guitar and bass in ‘palm-wine' and highlife bands, and before long, the young musician with the ‘roots' feel had begun a national career.

Baba Ken Okulolo has been voted best bassist five successive times in his native country by the Nigerian Journalist's Association. He first toured the United States with King Sunny Ade and subsequently moved to the Bay Area in 1986. Since then, he has been the driving force behind no fewer than four bands, the newest of which, the Afro-Groove ConneXion (also featuring Soji Odukogbe, former lead guitarist for the late Fela Kuti), fuses blissful Afrobeat grooves with jazzy jamming.

AFROBEAT DOWN

Having started as a Fela Kuti tribute in 2002, ABD has evolved into a full-blown 11 piece band, which can fluctuate up to 17 members for live shows. Simultaneously a collective and a band, ABD push community over all else and are avid supporters of all afrobeat bands, such as Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. Continuing in the tradition of Fela Kuti, LA-based band Afrobeat Down is spreading the afrobeat vibe of social awareness and funky living.

DJ JEREMIAH AND THE AFROBEAT NATION
As a boy growing up in Liberia , Dj Jeremiah was a music fanatic. He loved to listen and dance to traditional and Afrobeat music blaring from local radios stations. He learned early that music is supposed to make you feel good. With his passion for world music, Jeremiah has amassed a great collection of dance tunes that has kept the world music fans joyful and grooving — reminiscent of his childhood days.
Dj Jeremiah will be spinning Fela Kuti's funkiest recording accompanied by a group of seasoned, hard-hitting, musicians. Bring your dancing shoes and good vibes.